Sanders’s Comments on Fidel Castro Provoke Anger in Florida

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MIAMI — Cuban exiles and Democrats in Florida on Monday angrily rejected feedback from Senator Bernie Sanders praising factors of the Communist Cuban revolution that aired in an job interview with “60 Minutes.”

The Vermont senator’s remarks threatened to undercut his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the nation’s premier presidential swing state, as he seeks to create momentum on a broader scale right after a sequence of early principal victories.

“I’m entirely disgusted and insulted,” said Lourdes Diaz, the president of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus in Broward County, who is Cuban-American. “Maybe this will open people’s eyes to how tremendous, tremendous liberal and radical Bernie is. I’m not going to protect him anymore. I’m around it.”

In the job interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS, Mr. Sanders said he opposed “the authoritarian nature” of the repressive Cuban routine.

“But you know, it is unfair to merely say everything is bad,” Mr. Sanders explained to the host, Anderson Cooper. “When Fidel Castro arrived to office environment, you know what he did? He had a enormous literacy application. Is that a terrible issue? Even nevertheless Fidel Castro did it?”

Mr. Cooper noted that lots of political dissidents remained imprisoned in Cuba.

“That’s ideal,” Mr. Sanders acknowledged. “And we condemn that.”

“Unlike Donald Trump, let us be clear, I do not believe that Kim Jong-un is a superior mate,” Mr. Sanders included. “I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a good mate of mine.”

The feedback ricocheted across Miami, a bastion of Cuban exiles where by any defense of Mr. Castro is witnessed as disqualifying to hold community workplace. Numerous Cuban-People in america are Republicans, but people who are Democrats have been ever more worried that Mr. Sanders’s sights on Cuba and other authoritarian leaders in Latin The us could price the get together aid amid Hispanic voters.

“Senator Sanders has obviously and constantly criticized Fidel Castro’s authoritarianism and condemned his human rights abuses, and he’s merely echoing President Obama’s acknowledgment that Cuba created development, primarily in education and learning,” Mike Casca, the campaign’s communications director, mentioned.

In Havana in 2016, Mr. Obama praised Cuba’s “enormous achievements in education and in health treatment.” But those reviews were manufactured in the middle of a historic coverage overture and not in the middle of a major marketing campaign. The Florida most important is on March 17.

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